2012 has been the strongest year in memory for Canadian electronic pop. Established artists started new electronic projects, amazing new talents appeared seemingly out of nowhere, and one of our shining stars became a superstar recognized the world over. Canada is clearly at the epicenter of the zeitgeist – it’s a testament to the unbelievable talent in this country that we have 100 songs to present to you as the best of the year, and STILL had to exclude so many excellent tracks.
Montreal and Toronto may still have the most representatives of any Canadian city, but dark electro is thriving everywhere, from Halifax to Calgary, Ottawa to Vancouver, and exciting new hotbeds appearing in London, Ontario, and Grande Prairie, Alberta. We’re not too exclusively nationalist here at Silent Shout, so border states (minus NYC) appear too, with artists from Minneapolis, Seattle, and Brattleboro, Vermont making our list.
A huge thank you to all our readers, the folks who attend our events, and the bands that make brilliant music across this land for making 2012 an unforgettable year for us. Here’s to an even bigger 2013 for Canadian electronic music.
99. Gold & Youth – Time to Kill
96. Suuns – Edie’s Dream
94. Yves Son Ace – Wallet Song
90. Drug Train – Idioms
88. Solar Year – Night and Day
87. Zooey – You
86. Gold Zebra – Dark Musique
85. Warm Myth – Gonna Gun
80. Nyteowl – EZ Boy
There has been so much amazing music made this year. Most of these albums have been on constant repeat at the Silent Shout office since we heard them. If you’ve been following the blog all year our love for these records won’t surprise you. If you haven’t, we can’t wait for you to hear them! There shouldn’t be so much damn agreement in the critical world. We don’t need multiple lists of the same 50 albums in a slightly different order.
11. Hot & Cold – Border Area – Bandcamp
3. Blanche Blanche Blanche – Wink with Both Eyes – Stream
The new full length album from d’Eon LP is a behemoth of an album, pushing the limits of a compact disc at 73 minutes. What’s contained in those 73 minutes is an expressive, raw and personal series of songs that take the listener on a conceptual journey. I use the C word with reservation, because I’m not sure this is a ‘concept album’ but the lyrical subject matter makes definite allusion to god, love, the Internet and a number of topics that I’m sure I’m missing completely.
Other than stand-out track Century By Century I don’t hear much else in terms of a single on the album. However, what the album lacks in hooks it makes up for in profound moments. Individually these moments might not make for much, but as an album they flow together in a really ear pleasing way. Tracks like Gabriel pt 1 & pt 2 are resemble movements in a symphony or a scene in a movie more than they do club hits.
Speaking of a symphony, d’Eon pulls out all the stops putting together this opus. All manner of percussion and string instruments find their way in between the claps, snares and synths. D’Eon’s voice is at the forefront, sound a bit like Peter Gabriel at his peak. In fact, the album sounds a bit like something Peter Gabriel might have put out in the 90s had he stumbled upon Jungle. For an electronic pop record with a ton of MIDI instruments and it’s share of mangled vocals, it’s surprisingly heartfelt and creative in a way that’s so subtle it could very well make this album the sleeper hit of the year.
Silkken Laumann – House Of Common Problems
D’eon – Transparency Pt. II
One Place – Love Is Strange
Bzaryn – I’s the B’y (Part1)
Mac DeMarco – European Vegas
Jay Arner – Broken Glass
Dark Ages – Human Being
Ghibli – Babyface
Monroeville Music Centre – Somniculonia
Cora Kim – Apgetaryong
Soft Riot – You Can’t Please Everyone
Young Galaxy – Youth Is Wasted On The Young
Goose Hut – MACEE
15. Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
14. Grimes/D’eon – Darkbloom
13. Kidstreet – Fuh Yeah
12. Azari & III
11. Homo Duplex EP 03
10. Resorts EP
9. Visage Musique Compilation 01
8. Monroeville Music Centre – Le Progrès EP
7. Ghibli – Pythia
6. Chevalier Avant Garde – Heterotopias
5. Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
4. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
3. Sean Nicholas Savage – Trippple Midnight Karma
2. Destroyer – Kaputt
1. Austra – Feel It Break
More of the good stuff from Montreal’s D’eon. Here he is covering R&B singer Cassie. It’s downloadable too, if you click that arrow.